Cymru Culture

Fashion and Designers / Ffasiwn a Dylunwyr

Christmas gift guide

(December 01, 2016)

Christmas gift guide

More and more people are looking to buy that individual, special something as a gift for their loved ones during the festive season, and the continued popularity of crafting and artisan items means that buying something that has been handmade, by someone locally, satisfies a number of objectives.

Wales has a large and growing number of artisans, artists and crafters offering a huge range of beautiful, well-priced gift ideas. Here are some we, at Cymru Culture, can personally recommend.

 

Valmai Davies

Valmai Davies creates beautiful handcrafted items out of Welsh wool and luxurious sourced textiles, from full-sized cushions to Lavendar stuffed mice, which are not only wonderful dotted around your wardrobes to keep moths at bay and your clothes fragranced, but can also be used as beautiful Christmas tree decorations!

 

White reindeer, by Valmai Davies Valmai 2 White Reindeer
White reindeer, by Valmai Davies

Red Santa, by Valmai Davies
Red Santa, by Valmai Davies

I have personally bought a selection of Valmai's handcrafted Christmas decorations (available at Elements of Pembrokeshire, Saundersfoot or from Valmai direct) along with scented miniature cushions and Welsh wool cushion covers for your living room or bedroom, to name but a few.

 

Blue lavender cushion, by Valmai DaviesBlue lavender cushion, by Valmai Davies

Valmai also sells a small selection of her items at The Old Hat Bazaar, Narberth.

Other lovely items are appliquéd cushions with robin, reindeer and cat motifs, hearts made of Welsh wool fabric (which look lovely hung from door handles), key rings, brooches, a range of hand-stitched handbags and elephant shaped pin cushions!

What I especially like about Valmai's work is the attention to detail, the stitching is perfect and all the fabrics etc. used are of the very best quality, all sourced by her personally.

Checkout Valmai's Facebook page on valmai.davies.16

 

Sian O'Doherty (textile designer)

sian odoherty - handmade in wales

Multi award winning Sian O'Doherty is well respected in her industry. Her work has been featured in a number of interior design magazines including Country Homes and Interiors, Country Living and Cymru Culture, and is the current poster girl for 'Made By Hand, Cardiff 2016'.

She has also exhibited nationally, to great acclaim.

We have purchased a number of items from Sian, some beautifully knitted cushions made with Welsh wool that sit proudly in our living room (which also seem to be a favourite of our cats!). Her work is available from her direct via Facebook and from her website, and she sells her work in a number of outlets including: Craft In The Bay, Cardiff; Mission Gallery, Swansea; and Oriel Wrecsam.

 

Sian O'Doherty - Welsh blanket cushion Sian O'Doherty - cable cushion Sian O'Doherty - cariad cushion
'Welsh blanket' cushion 'Cable' cushion 'Cariad' cushion

Her extensive list of stockists can be found here: sianodoherty.co.uk/stockist

Sian also produces a range of home accessories (such as blankets and lampshades) and accessories, such as scarves, wraps and hats. Take a look at her stylish website and you will be spoilt for gift ideas.

 

Bobble hat, by Sian O'Doherty Scarf, by Sian O'Doherty
Bobble hat, by Sian O'Doherty Scarf, by Sian O'Doherty
Cashmere wraps, by Sian O'Doherty Geelong lambswool wrap, by Sian O'Doherty
Cashmere wraps, by Sian O'Doherty Geelong lambswool wrap, by Sian O'Doherty
Strata lampshade, by Sian O'Doherty Shoreline Amroth lampshade, by Sian O'Doherty Shoreline lampshade, by Sian O'Doherty
Strata lampshade Amroth lampshade Shoreline lampshade

See our Interview with Sian O'Doherty
Sian's Facebook page is sianodohertyTextileDesigner
and her website: sianodoherty.co.uk

 

Dorian Spencer Davies

Dorian is a Welsh artist of renown. He primarily captures Pembrokeshire, and much of Wales. His playful and colourful technique was inspired by having once seeing a curved image reflected on the outside of a polished kettle. He is currently producing pieces in a slightly different style to his traditional, most well known style, to great acclaim, so please see his website for full details of his new pieces and styles.

He produces original paintings, drawings and a selection of prints are available from a number of outlets in Pembrokeshire, or direct from his website (see above).

I have commissioned Dorian to paint a picture of our three cats, which was beautifully done, and also to do a caricature of my husband, which I was also really pleased with.

We have a number of his mounted prints of seaside themes and of our favourite restaurant in Tenby, The Plantagenet, which we have purchased from galleries in Tenby. They always come beautifully mounted, so all you need is a frame of your choice, and you have a lovely gift.

He will happily discuss commissions. So if you are interested in this type of gift for a loved one, just get in touch with him direct.

He has also diversified and produces beautifully crafted Christmas cards, which can be purchased from www.dorianspencerdaviesart.com/shop/greeting-postcards, together with other items, including coasters.

See our Interview with Dorian Spencer Davies
Facebook:
dorianspencerdaviesart
website:
www.dorianspencerdaviesart.com

Crafting heaven

If you like to wander around a beautifully merchandised shop, filled to the rafters with handcrafted items by local artisans, or selling items that can rarely be obtained elsewhere, then The Nook and The Cranny (different shops owned by the same people) in Tenby are the places to visit.

   

The Nook, TenbyThe Nook, Tenby

Attention to detail, and a range of items personally selected by the owners, ensures that the quality of the items offered, and sourced, are second to none.

 

The Cranny, TenbyThe Cranny, Tenby

Framed art (using pebbles), handmade candles in vintage tea cups and old wine bottles and wool blankets are just some of the beautiful items available. Stock changes regularly, so visiting in person is recommended, but they do have an on-line presence and appear happy to assist with on-line orders, either reserving stock for collection or arranging delivery.

Facebook: thenooktenby
website: www.thenookandcranny.co.uk

 

Jago - independant retailer

I have shopped with Jago for a number of years. They specialise in high quality clothing and footwear - such as Superdry and French Connection - jewellery, Nixon watches, home accessories (e.g. the excellent Metropolis lighting range: jagotenby.co.uk/product/kilner-jar-glass-lamp) and quality kitchenalia. They have outlets in Tenby and Narberth.
  

Jago, Tenby

Jago, Tenby

When entering each shop you cannot fail but be impressed with the merchandising standards, on par with the most high-end boutique, with a real flair for colour combinations and textures. The front windows are constantly changing, reflecting new stock and current trends. Whoever their buyer is, they are obviously very conscious of changing styles and themes – and are always ahead of trends.

What I particularly like is their excellent customer service (I recently asked for some lighting to be reserved for me and it was done immediately) and the mix of items, ranging from retro telephones and Newgate clocks to quality toiletries; all desirable and individual.

Certainly worth a visit!

Facebook: jago.narberth
website: jagotenby.co.uk

 

The Shed, Tenby, if you're looking for something French-inspired

I have visited The Shed, Tenby for a number of years and have always been impressed with the range of items sourced, personally, by owner Victoria Lander. Lots of items have been personally retrieved from France by Victoria during one of her regular visits to the country, so are often original and not repro.
  

The Shed, TenbyThe Shed, Tenby
  

Other beautiful items such as vintage Welsh wool blankets, vintage lace and linens and kitchenalia are always available.

It was through The Shed that I became aware of the beautiful work of Valmai Davies, buying two of her Welsh wool cushions during one of The Shed's Easter weekend events.
   

The Shed, Tenby

The Shed, Tenby

The Shed, Tenby

I have bought several vintage items there, including: pages from a reference book showing ancient Greek art; French advertisements; matchboxes; postcards; cotton spools; spoons; and keys – and those are just the ones I remember!

She also showcases items created by local artisans and small businesses, and with stock ever-changing, a visit to this beautifully merchandised shop is highly recommended.
   

Of special mention are her stunning window and outdoor displays, which change constantly.

Facebook: theshedtenby

  

Claire Meredith, December 2016

If you liked this, you'll also like:

      Upcycling home accessories: chalk paint; June 2015:
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Upcycling home accessories: part II
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Upcycling home accessories: chalk paint; June 2015
Steampunk #1, photo frame; March 2015

Steampunk #2, glass bottle pendant; March 2015
Crafting: felt accessories for your home; March 2015

Crafting: 'vintage' frame; March 2015

Vintage-inspired gifts; December 2014

Handmade cards; December 2014
Handmade gift tags; December 2014

Stylishly wrapped presents; December 2014
Personalised Christmas decorations; December 2013

Accessorize your home this Christmas; December 2011
Shades of Grey; Caregos Couture new collection; September 2011
History of costume Jewellery; September 2010
Statement pieces from Caregos Couture, September 2010
Easter/Spring party gift and decoration ideas; March 2010
Modern accessories vs retro-chic; March 2010
New Art Gallery in Cardiff 'Off the Wall'; Septermber 2009
Statement necklaces; September 2009
Stylish party canapés, September 2009
George Thomas Hospice 'Style In the City' event; May 2009
Whitefriars Glass, March 2009

   

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